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Friday, July 11, 2008

On The Ice: Masterful Short Story

Sikumi (On the Ice) (excerpts)
in Iñupiaq with English subtitles, 2008, 35mm, 15 minutes

Andrew Okpeaha MacLean has made the first film in the Iñupiaq language and tells the story of an Inuit hunter who drives his dog team out onto the frozen Arctic Ocean and fortuitously witnesses a murder. The short poignant drama won a 2008 Sundance Short Filmmaking Award. Sikumi shows an artistic mastery of simplicity and elegance in capturing a thought-provoking story.

One has to admire MacLeans pitch-perfect balance between what is seen, what is said and what circumstances dictate in the stories unfolding. The director uses just one location, three actors and two dog sled teams to shoot this contemplative moment that makes a viewer prize short storytelling in the film medium.

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